School board to host hearing on boundary changes
by Megan Thornton
mthornton@cherokeetribune.com
October 28, 2012 12:00 AM | 1242 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON — The Cherokee County Board of Education will hear from the public regarding the 2013-14 school boundaries during a public input session Thursday night.

The boundary hearing will take place at the historic Canton High School and school board auditorium in downtown Canton at 6:30 p.m. The regular meeting will follow at 7 p.m.

The schools under consideration are only subject to potential grade configuration changes in preparation for next year’s opening of the replacement E.T. Booth Middle School.

Including Booth, the impacted schools are: Ball Ground, Bascomb, Boston, Clark Creek and Oak Grove elementary schools and Chapman Intermediate School.

Beginning in late September and ending in early October, focus group meetings were held for each school to receive input from parents and guardians regarding their desire for the grade configuration of their respective schools.

At the final meeting conducted at Etowah High School, Assistant Superintendent Russ Sims said all of the elementary school parents came to a consensus that they would like to see their schools either remain or become a kindergarten through fifth-grade model.

However, parents of Chapman and Booth students expressed concerns about the fate of the Chapman facility as district officials are considering converting the building into a ninth-grade center.

Some of the concerns included the separation of special needs and general education students as well as the distance of the facility from Etowah’s main campus.

Etowah Principal Keith Ball and Assistant Superintendent Brian Hightower attended the Oct. 8 meeting to quell fears and assure parents the building would be repurposed to best fit the needs of the Eagle Mountain community.

Final recommendations will be made by Sims and his staff at the Dec. 6 school board meeting.

Also during the meeting, the board will:

* Consider the September financial report and sales tax update;

* Consider authorizing the preparation, pricing and tentative marketing of $40 million in general obligation bonds for the purpose of a replacement Teasley Middle School;

* Consider a resolution to phase out the existing Teasley Middle School facility that would subsequently enable the district to earn additional state entitlement funds for future capital outlay projects. The building will initially be used to house ACE Academy, which would move from its Holly Springs location;

* Consider a resolution to be sent to the Georgia Department of Education requesting the approval of the district’s five-year facilities plan;

* Consider approving the district’s surplus sale for Saturday, Dec. 8, with inventory including classroom and office furniture and other equipment;

* Consider proposed school board legislative priorities and CCSD’s five-year strategic plan; and

* Consider a contract and memorandum of understanding with Ninth District Opportunity, Inc. as the operator of the Head Start and Pre-K program at the Ralph Bunche Center, Little River and Oak Grove preschools. NDO will provide personnel funding for the 2012-13 school year totaling $453,169. This year’s required in-kind funding by the CCSD totals $454,026 in facility/maintenance costs and an additional $410,000 in staff wages and benefits, all of which is included in the approved fiscal year 2013 budget.
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